At least a portion of the commercial real estate growth in Tampa and St. Petersburg, especially, is the result of millennials aged 18 to 35 who have been moving to the area, according to a new report by commercial real estate brokerage Coldwell Banker Commercial.
Enhanced nightlife and affordable housing have prompted millenials to abandon traditionally trendier areas such as New York City in favor of the Gulf Coast, the report notes. Interestingly, the millennial population influx was cited only in the Tampa Bay submarket, one of 19 the report covered in Florida.
“Tampa and St. Petersburg have a lot of professionals here now, and they want to stay here,” says Karl “Dee” Maret, Coldwell Banker's Eastern U.S. director, which includes the company's Florida operations.
“And commercial real estate is having to adapt,” Maret adds. “Commercial real estate in Florida has traditionally accommodated the over-50 crowd, but that is changing.”
More specifically, Maret says restaurant chains and concepts are adjusting to younger patrons, and industrial e-commerce fulfillment projects by the likes of Amazon and Wal-Mart are being built specifically to accommodate mostly younger, predominantly online shoppers.
He also cites the boom in multifamily development as evidence that younger consumers are becoming more prevalent in the Tampa Bay area, a trend he expects to continue as developments like the $3 billion revamp of the Channelside District by Strategic Property Partners and Cascade Investment LLC advance.
“Already, you go to Tampa's Riverwalk at 5 p.m. on a Friday and the place is jammed with mostly young people,” he says. “It's a big demographic change from the past.”
Moreover, Maret expects millennials' influence in coming years to expand into less urban areas such as Dunedin, Brandon, Winter Haven and elsewhere.
“It's not just the central business districts that are reacting to these trends,” he says. “More suburban areas are also creating or encouraging amenities to being these people in.”